If you’re described as an empath, it means that you have a special connection to the people and world around you. Empathy is the defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. However, this doesn’t just mean personal emotion, but the emotions and feelings of others as well.
These people filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings. As a psychiatrist and empath myself, I know the challenges of being a highly sensitive person. When overwhelmed with the impact of stressful emotions, empaths may experience panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, food, sex, and drug binges, or exhibit many other physical symptoms that defy traditional diagnosis.
But empaths can also learn how to center themselves so that they don’t feel too much or become overloaded. The first step is to acknowledge that you are an empath. Here are the top 10 traits of an empath, from the book on how to achieve emotional freedom. See if you can relate:
1. You Seek Balance Rather than Success
This is a major sign that you’re an empath because balance and comfort are more important to you than monetary success. You won’t do whatever it takes to get to the top, you’ll simply do what you need to do in order to be in balance with your surroundings.
2. You Enjoy Personal Connections
If you’re an empath, creating a personal connection with someone is a valuable experience. Not everyone cares about making one-on-one connections with the people around them, but you do, which could be a sign that you’re an empath.
3. Spending Alone Time is Important
Empaths need time to themselves in order to recharge and relax. Spending time with others is something you love to do, but it can also be draining because you pick up on everyone’s emotions.
4. You Avoid Large Crowds
Crowds generate a great deal of energy that any empath will automatically pick up on. You can only be in a large crowd for so long before you become emotionally and mentally drained.
5. You Don’t Like Cities
Just like large crowds, major cities can be draining both emotionally and mentally. Your ideal home will be somewhere in the mountains or in a more secluded area.
6. You Need to Practice Your Creativity
Whatever creative outlet you enjoy the most, you need to practice it. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you have an active need to express yourself through a creative means. Empaths thrive on creativity and they harbor meaning from the arts.
7. Nature is Healing
When you’re out in the natural world, hiking, camping, or anything else, you feel a strong, healing presence. Nature has the power to recharge you and bring you back down to Earth.
8. Small Talk Feels Meaningless
For an empath, small talk will often feel like a waste of time. Although it can be polite when you first meet someone, you don’t have much of a desire to talk about the weather; you want to talk about something that actually means something.
9. You’re Overwhelmed Emotionally
Empaths can easily find themselves overwhelmed by their own emotions. If you can pick up on other peoples’ emotions, that means your own are going to be that much stronger.
10. You Avoid Confrontation
Confrontation can be extremely draining for an empath, especially if it’s amongst friends. You grapple with consequences of taking one side or another in order to save face.